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Tigers win state crown
The thunderstorms predicted
by the National Weather Service did not arrive in time to disrupt
the Class A State Championship football game Friday night. But
lightning named Monté Williams struck four times, electrified
a standing-room-only crowd and propelled the Commerce Tigers
to a 27-19 victory over the Buford Wolves.
Budget on hold amid commissioners' conflict
Approval of the 2001 budget was put on hold Monday amid the conflict
over the payment of commissioners' legal expenses.
The board voted 3-2 to deny the budget proposed by chairman Wesley
Nash. BOC members Nelson Nash, Patsy Pierce and Melvin Drake
voted against the proposal, while Bill Taylor and Bruce Scogin
voted to approve the budget.
16th annual luminarias and live nativity planned
The 16th annual Booger Hill/Moon's Grove Luminarias and Live
Nativity is planned for Saturday, Dec. 16, from 6:30 to 9:30
BOC agrees on tentative SPLOST allocations
The Banks County Board of Commissioners is one step closer to
finalizing the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
Maysville bust nets $62,000 in drugs and cash and four
A weekend drug bust in Maysville resulted in the recovery of
$43,000 in drugs and over $19,000 in cash and four arrests
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READY FOR CHRISTMAS
These youngsters are ready for Christmas with their reindeer
outfits. The three were part of the annual Jefferson Elementary
School's kindergarten program held Tuesday night. Shown are Cal
Garner, J.T. Hoopaugh and Mikie Dills.
Schools may get
July start next year
Jackson County's three school systems are mulling a plan that
would have students begin school in July next year. Although
the three systems have been comparing notes on the idea for weeks,
it surfaced publicly for the first time Thursday night with the
Jackson County Board of Education.
Under the plan, students would go back to school July 27. A major
break would take place the first two weeks in October and again
in late December and early January. A third break would occur
in April and summer vacation would begin June 1.
For students needing remedial help, the plan would have them
attending school extra days during the break periods.
Jackson County School Superintendent Andy Byers called the idea
a "bold move."
"I certainly think it has a lot of advantages when you start
looking at the opportunities for instruction and the opportunities
to give students a break during the year," he said. "I
think it gives us an opportunity to provide some remediation
and give kids a chance to catch up before they get so far behind
at the end of the year."
Byers also acknowledged that the plan does have some pitfalls.
"There will be people who won't like it," he said.
"It will interfere with some folks' vacation plans."
No action on the plan was taken by the Jackson County BOE Thursday,
but some resolution is expected by the end of February. The Jefferson
and Commerce City School Systems have not yet officially discussed
the matter at their board meetings.
Season for shoplifting
While shoplifting is a common occurrence at the Banks Crossing
area of Jackson County, the holiday season brings even more occurrences.
Seven people were cited last week by the Jackson County Sheriff's
Department on shoplifting incidents at two retail stores. Three
other stores reported shoplifters with no one being charged yet.
"Usually, during the holiday season, our shoplifting cases
increase over there," said Jackson County Sheriff's Department
chief investigator David Cochran. "It seems that we are
making numerous arrests over there too. A report of shoplifting
is an everyday occurrence over there and it keeps us pretty busy.
It seems that during the holiday season, it increases even more."
Five Wisconsin people were charged with shoplifting at Nike at
Tanger Factory Outlet Mall on Friday. They are: Griselda Angeles
Caledron, Raul Tello Carbajal and Adriana Mejia Olmos, all of
160 Mineral Street, Milwaukee, Wis.; Jose Luis Lara Millan; and
Luis Alberto Reyes Rojano.
They are charged with allegedly taking $1,274 worth of clothing,
all of which was recovered.
In another incident, two women were charged with shoplifting
at Vanity Fair at Tanger Factory Outlet on Saturday. They are:
Patricia Lynn Buell, 143 Flat Street, Baldwin, and Cherrie Murise
Pulido, 163 Sunset Strip Lane, Demorest. The $156 worth of clothing
reportedly shoplifted was recovered.
gets greenspace grant of $139,450
Jackson County has received a $139,450 state grant for its greenspace
The Georgia Greenspace Commission approved six grants under Gov.
Roy Barnes' new Georgia Greenspace Program. The money will be
used by local governments to acquire and permanently protect
The grant award is based on the county's tax digests for residential
property. Other counties to receive grants were: Chatham County,
$1.1 million; Clayton County, $625,081; the City of Forest Park,
$58,418; Effingham County, $144,212; and Forsyth County, $903,315.
To qualify for funding, a county or city must commit to preserve
at least 20 percent of its geographic areas as open and connected
greenspace, which can be used for recreational activities and
protection of natural resources.
Greenspace consists of permanently protected land and water that
protects water quality, scenic areas, wildlife habitat, historic
resources or recreation opportunities.
City Cuts Tax
Rate By 2 Mills
Commerce will lower its tax rate by two mills this year and will
take in $31,000 less than last year in property taxes, but some
citizens may not get to claim their 2000 taxes as deductions
on their 2000 income tax returns.
The city council voted to establish a preliminary tax rate of
15.34 mills at its December meeting Monday night. That's down
from 17.36 mills last year.
At the same time, the council voted to increase the freeport
exemption for industry from the 20 percent level to 100 percent.
That provision exempts certain unfinished goods and goods in
transit from ad valorem taxes.
The city was able to implement freeport and reduce the tax rate
because its tax digest grew by 23 percent, city manager Clarence
"Fifteen of the $23 million in growth came from the re-evaluations,"
he said. The city tax digest grew from $101.6 million to $124.6
Those re-evaluations caused another problem that drew more discussion
than the whole setting of the tax rate.
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New deputy warden
The new deputy warden at the Jackson County Correctional Institute
has been charged with theft by taking.
William Francis Cummings Sr., 357 Red Oak Road, Maysville, was
also charged with violation of oath of office by a public official.
Jackson County Board of Commissioners chairman Jerry Waddell
said Tuesday that the charges stem from food being taken from
the prison over the weekend. Cummings, who owns a restaurant,
reportedly said he was borrowing the food and would replace it.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation
of this incident.
New Hoschton school
The new 3-5 elementary school being built in Hoschton was named
West Jackson Intermediate School Monday night by the Jackson
County Board of Education. The current Jackson County Elementary
School in Braselton will be renamed West Jackson Primary School
and will house grades K-2.
Also approved by the board was the move of JCES principal Linda
McMullan to become principal of the new WJIS. Her assistant principal,
Lynne Wheeler, was also transferred to serve at the new school.
It is expected to open next fall.
No principal or assistant principal for the primary school has
yet been named.
Construction of the new school is expected to be completed by
February, 2001, and equipment and other items will begin to be
moved in, according to superintendent Andy Byers.
A No-Show At Nicholson Meeting
For the second week in a row, the Nicholson City Council was
unable to hold a meeting because of a lack of a quorum.
Council members Thomas Gary and Margaret Ward were at a called
meeting Monday evening. However, newly elected mayor Ronnie Maxwell
did not attend, which kept the council from having a quorum and
from conducting business.
Gary said the meeting was called to conduct city business that
was not addressed at last week's meeting, when Maxwell walked
out after being sworn in as mayor.
Gary said the council would try to reschedule the meeting.
On Tuesday, Maxwell explained his absence.
He said the agenda spelled out three items of business
repairing a city truck, electing a mayor pro tem and adding his
name to the city checking account but also contained non-specific
items "old business" and "new business."
"They can't do that," he said. "They have to be
Maxwell and Gary and Ward are at odds over zoning, and Maxwell
figured the two would try to pass a zoning ordinance at the called
He also complained that while Ward and Gary consulted with each
other over a meeting time, he was not asked if it was convenient
"I was in and out of City Hall all day Friday, but Dana
(Wilbanks, city clerk) didn't mention it until she was closing
at 5:00 to go home," Maxwell said. "I don't feel like
they should treat my office like that."
The others in city government knew in advance that Maxwell would
not attend the meeting.